Similac’s Expert Care Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula is commonly used as an alternative to regular infant formula when a baby is colicky or is experiencing diarrhea. It is for babies from birth until they are 12 months of age.
How is Similac’s Alimentum Hypoallergenic formula different from regular infant formula?
Similac’s Expert Care Alimentum Formula, found in the purple can, differs from regular infant formula in that it has predigested milk proteins that are easier for a baby to digest, specifically if they are showing signs of allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
It is important to note that this formula is not dairy-free. Instead, the milk protein is broken down, which helps hinder most allergic reaction issues.
If your baby is experiencing any of the following symptoms, they may be suffering from a milk protein sensitivity:
- Excessive crying (sometimes referred to as colic)
- Severe diarrhea
- Sleeping problems
How do I know if I need this formula?
If your baby is experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should talk to your pediatrician about possible causes. They may recommend Similac’s Alimentum formula as a solution or will be able to point you in the direction of other possible solutions.
If your baby has been diagnosed with a sensitivity to cow’s milk protein, this is a formula made for them. Note that it is still milk-based, not soy-based, so if your baby is completely dairy intolerant, you should look into other options that are available on the market.
This formula comes in powder form, which you mix with water before feeding, and ready to feed (pictured below), which requires no mixing or preparation of any kind.
Does it work?
Yes, but it comes at a high price. Similac’s Alimentum Formula is upwards of double to triple the price of standard infant formula.
If you are on a limited budget it may be worth trying other brands (especially generic brands) first to see if one of them will help ease your baby’s symptoms.
Will my insurance cover it?
This depends on your insurance. Some insurance companies do, so give your insurance company a call because it is definitely worth taking the time to find out.
Also try asking your child’s pediatrician. Some insurance companies will cover the cost if medically necessary (i.e. if your pediatrician writes a prescription for the Similac Alimentum formula). Plus, your pediatrician may be familiar with your insurance and whether or not it is covered.
It is approved for WIC, so check with your local health department for more information on the WIC program.
How does it compare to Enfamil Nutramigen?
One of the most similar products to Similac’s Alimentum Hypoallergenic Formula is Enfamil Nutramigen. Both products are commonly used to treat colic in babies. They do this using similar strategies.
Nutramigen is a lactose-free formula that contains digested milk proteins. Similac’s Alimentum is also lactose-free and hypoallergenic while still containing milk proteins.
This milk protein in these formulas is broken down, making it easier to digest, instead of completely being taken out. Both are designed to build up a baby’s tolerance to the milk proteins to hopefully allow for the consumption of cow’s milk at an early age.
So the big differences in ingredients come from corn and palm oil. Alimentum has a corn-free version (the RTF formula), and it also excludes palm olein oil from the ingredient list, which helps baby’s stools to be softer.
Besides the slight difference in ingredients, the products do have different tastes, so if your little one does not like one, you could give the other a try.
Nutramigen made our Best Formulas list, but Alimentum did not. You can click to read that article and see why!
Because Similac Alimentum has to be specially processed, it is much more expensive than your typical formula (which can already be very expensive!)
Below are some ways to help lower the cost of this formula if you do decide it is best for you and your baby:
As I mentioned earlier, check with your health insurance company to see if they will cover the cost of this formula. If you are told they do not, check again. I have been told before that my insurance did not cover something, but upon further investigation, found out that they did in fact cover it. Do some investigating, because it is definitely worth your time to double-check. Try reaching out to other parents with the same insurance or researching online.
Similac does send out coupons if you enroll in their Similac StrongMoms program. This might only be a couple dollars off here and there, but any discount helps.
Keep an eye out for special offers on baby food/products. Target often has specials where if you buy a certain amount of baby food or formula, you get a gift card to use on future purchases. This has saved me 15-20% on formula purchases in the past.
If you meet the income requirements, you might be eligible to get Alimentum through your local WIC program. Alimentum has been WIC-approved in all 50 states! Contact your local health department or ask your pediatrician for more information on WIC.
Buy in Bulk
Another way to save on this formula is to buy it in bulk. Amazon offers bulk options, such as buying in packs of 6 cans rather than just buying one at a time. And with their Subscribe & Save option, you can save even more by signing up for automatic shipments of the formula.
If you can’t buy in bulk, even just buying the value size of the powder form of this formula (rather than the smallest can) will save you if you can only buy a can or so at a time.
Use Powder Form
The ready to feed form of any formula comes at a higher price. It is much more convenient, especially if you are out and about, since you do not have to measure and mix formula powder and water. However, this convenience is met with much higher costs. Try to use only powder form to save money.
Talk to a Pediatrician
Lastly, talk to your pediatrician. Similac often sends samples to pediatricians’ offices, so you may be able to snag a few cans for free that way.
Pictured above is the old scoop (purple) and the new, bigger scoop (white).
In 2016, Similac came out with new packaging for their Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula which included a new sized scoop. Be careful if you saved a scoop from an old package of this product and purchase a new package. I know I have saved old scoops from formula since I never feel like digging out the scoop from the bottom of the container when I open a new one. But in this case, you should dig out that new scoop to make sure you are using the right proportions.
The Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula has good reviews across many websites. Most of the negative reviews focus on the cost, which is why I included ways to reduce costs above.
4 out of 5 stars, 349 reviews Target
4.4 out of 5 stars, 312 reviews Babies R Us
4 out of 5 stars, 343 reviews Walmart
- Very effective for protein sensitivities
- May be covered by your insurance if deemed medically necessary
- Reduces excessive crying
- Recent change in packaging requires use of new, bigger scoop
- Is milk-based, not soy-based (not for babies who are dairy intolerant)
Similac has a whole line of formulas for different issues you may run into when formula feeding your baby. You can check out all of Similac’s Infant Formula products here.
If your baby is having any of the symptoms previously described which are pointing to a protein sensitivity, Similac’s Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula is definitely worth a try because of its effectiveness. It has been shown to eliminate these issues in most babies. It is very costly, however, so it might be worth trying other options first. Generic options are usually the cheapest way to go, but unfortunately there are no generic brands close to this formula at this time. See if you can snag some samples of different Similac formulas either by writing to them or speaking with your pediatrician to find what formula works best for you and your baby.